Valencia Road is one of those films that raises more questions than it answers. Though it seems simple in premise, the film is packed with thematic subtext. Most central to the story is the question of how much we owe each other as human beings.
A woman, played beautifully by the film’s co-writer Celine Held, is driving down some country roads, following her sat nav turn by turn, while simultaneously ignoring a barrage of text messages. As she looks back up from her phone she sees a car overturned in a field. Unsure of what she will find, she reluctantly goes over to the car to find a woman bleeding and screaming for help. However, this woman is less concerned with the state of her injuries and car, and more concerned with the fact that she is late. She has our protagonist try to call her phone to find it. Swept up in a mixture of emotion and adrenaline, our protagonist admits to the trapped woman that she is late herself, for the reading of her father’s will. When she calls back a week later to check in on the woman, she is just as cagey as she was when she found her in the car and tells our protagonist to never call her again.
As an audience, this ending leaves us as unfulfilled as the protagonist, but that is the point. Just because we reach out and divulge information, like our protagonist about her father’s passing, doesn’t mean that has to be reciprocated. Ultimately, Valencia Road is a story about how we seek out meaning from our experiences and how often, there is little or no meaning at all.
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